Thorns and Roses

Sunday, January 31st, 2021

Ecclesiastes 3:1-20

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. What gain have the workers from their toil? I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with. He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; moreover, it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil. I know that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it; God has done this, so that all should stand in awe before him. That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already is; and God seeks out what has gone by. Moreover I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, wickedness was there, and in the place of righteousness, wickedness was there as well. I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for he has appointed a time for every matter, and for every work. I said in my heart with regard to human beings that God is testing them to show that they are but animals. For the fate of humans and the fate of animals is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and humans have no advantage over the animals; for all is vanity. All go to one place; all are from the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knows whether the human spirit goes upward and the spirit of animals goes downward to the earth? So I saw that there is nothing better than that all should enjoy their work, for that is their lot; who can bring them to see what will be after them?

Hello friends–

I heard the above song on the radio today and it was one of those moments when time seems to slow and memories flood your thoughts. I remember I was thinking of the word “regret” for whatever reason when the song started. I was asking myself if I have regrets? I have often felt that using the word regret would downplay the lessons I have learned from my less than stellar choices in life. My thought process is if I choose to describe my choices as regrets it would nullify the good I had learned. Am I sorry for things I have done and the pain I have caused, directly and indirectly…absolutely. I have expressed to those I have hurt that I am sorry which doesn’t seem to be enough (for me), and perhaps that is as it should be, to be a reminder of my actions in the future. I have a bad habit of carry guilt around long after it’s been forgiven, it’s as if at times I am compelled to punish myself over and over. I know from the bible this is not what God intended, the suffering over and over for our sins, our mistakes. Let me also clarify that I do not mean that mistakes are the same as sin, necessarily. In either situation, an apology would only help. The point, which I am trying to make and doing a poor job of it…If God forgives, who do I think I am by continuing to hold onto it, whatever it is(?). I am going to go out on a limb and name it, PRIDE, my own selfish pride. I am the child of God, if God forgives, who do I think I am by not accepting it(?)! Psalm 103:10-14 “He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him. For he knows how we were made; he remembers that we are dust.” God is not punishing me, I am punishing myself but for what and at what cost. Ephesians 4:31-32 “Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.”

THE COST: Fractured relationships. Fullness of life and living life.

SIN: transgression of divine law: any act regarded as such a transgression, especially a willful or deliberate violation of some religious or moral principle.

MISTAKE: an error in action, calculation, opinion, or judgment caused by poor reasoning, carelessness, insufficient knowledge; a misunderstanding or misconception.

Advice I am sharing and telling myself is this…Life is a gift. Life is short. Life is about experiences. Love and Forgive Often.

The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive. ~John Green

“Without forgiveness and love, you will live with resentment, bitterness, malice and strife which result in more pain. You can never love without forgiving. Forgiveness deepens your ability to love and frees you from pain.” ― Kemi Sogunle

Peace to you, all my friends

~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience


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